Warm Season Grasses Typical for Zone 7

Bermuda

Most common. Seen on most golf courses. Active from around late May through early October. It goes dormant and turns a white/brown color from October through May.

Advantages

Low maintenance, no need to reseed every year, when well-maintained looks like carpet. Grows densely, making it tolerant to high traffic. It is drought and salt tolerant and establishes pretty quickly. It does an excellent job out-competing a lot of weed species.

Disadvantages

Only full green about 3 – 5 months out of the year. Needs full sun, doesn’t do well in shaded areas. Requires weekly mowing during the growing season. Needs to be detached every couple of years.

Zoysia

Growing in popularity in zone 7. It is often referred to as a hybrid between fescue and Bermuda because it is tall and has individual blades of grass-like fescue but has less maintenance than Bermuda.

Advantages

Improved cold tolerances over bermudagrass, prefers full sun, and can tolerate some light shade. It is tolerant of heat and drought with low water and maintenance requirements. It grows dense, which makes it suitable for high-traffic areas.

Disadvantages

Like Bermuda grass, it goes dormant during the fall and winter and does not stay green in the zone 7 climates. Zoysia grass goes dormant and turns a white/brown color from October through May.

Centipede

Native to China and Southeast Asia. Only grows in the southeast region of the US. doesn’t have a typical dormancy period like Bermuda and zoysia but can take damage if it gets too cold.

Advantages

Aggressively outgrow weeds helping prevent them from growing. Thrives in full sun areas. Does not have to be mowed as often as Bermuda and other warm-season grasses.

Disadvantages

Not very traffic tolerant. Requires water, so it is not very drought tolerant.

St. Augustine

Thick carpet-like growth that looks beautiful. It is a little harder to get because it does best in coastal areas.

Advantages

Grows better in shaded areas than typical warm-season grasses. Holds color better than other warm-season grasses during drought. Grows very densely outcompeting against a lot of weeds.

Disadvantages

Does not do well in cold weather. It is not drought tolerant and requires irrigation in spheres that do not get enough water. Does not handle high traffic areas as well as other warm-season grass.

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